I have been working out at Vic Park for 7 years and it has become my second home. I love everything about this gym, the space, the people, the team, the classes and not to mention all the excellent services they offer (spa, medispa, and restaurants) all under one roof! Now, I say second home because I am a gym rat and proud. I love to workout and not just for the physical benefits but also for my mental well being. It is a proven fact that working out boosts the hormones serotonin and dopamine which in turn makes you happy, hence them also being called the happiness hormones and trust me, I am a much happier person when I get my gym on and sleep way better at night too.
Although being happy isn't the only goal to my working out, it helps get me into shape. After baby number two, and with the help of Alissa Persow, I got my body back with her Bounce classes. It is the best class to shed pounds and one my favorite classes because I get to channel my inner cheerleader and relive my cheerleading days with the Montreal Alouettes. Yup, I was an actual cheerleader. Check out the post I wrote when we had a reunion a couple of summers ago. Now back to the subject at hand, trampoline or rebounding is basically jumping on a mini trampoline either in gentle bounces where your feet don’t leave the trampoline or in complete jumps where you rise 6 inches from the surface. The benefits of this workout are numerous from boosting lymphatic and immune function to improving digestion, to circulating oxygen throughout the body to improve energy, and is twice as effective as running. My body took to this class like a fish to water.
But when baby number 3 came around, the struggle became very real. I had turned 40 and the reality was that my metabolism drastically slowed down and I had to accept that getting my body back this time around was going to be a challenge. I worked my ass off with the regimen I had previously done for baby number two and after 6 months I lost some weight but plateaued at 143 pounds. Although i was doing the same workout routine, my body just wasn't responding and I became a little desperate, so I asked Victoria Park to help me reach my fitness goals and they gladly said oui.
They set me up with Miel, a certified nutritionist who had me eating every three hours and snacking in between meals. I was eating well, but I wasn't eating often enough. Just changing that started to make a difference. I also started a food journal and after seeing everything I ate in a week made me tweak my choices. Sometimes what you think is "healthy" is not. I was also eating too much gluten.
I then started circuit/interval training with Val and wow did this type of workout fire up my body! This type of training involves a series of low to high intensity workouts with rest periods. You burn 50% more calories in 50% less time. What I like about Val’s circuit is that she’s not doing an interval circuit uniquely for men, she's aware that there are a lot more women in her classes and will adapt her circuits and work on our weaknesses such as core, butt & thighs. Also Val suggested I cut dairy from my diet which I did and the results were already showing after the first month!!
Since I had to rev up my system, I had to do more than one type of exercise, so spinning become part of my routine. Before Vic Park, spinning wasn’t my thing. I never got into it but thanks to Nat & Drea and their kickass playlists, I was hooked!!! It is a high intensity, super motivating, heart pounding ride and feeling the energy from the other 20 plus riders surrounding you is addictive and powerful. They also allowed me to bring my phone into the spin room, which is a big exception because we are not allowed, but as a blogger, I was able to post what spin was all about which was a win win for everyone. I also discreetly Shazamed almost a few song cause the music was just so good.
Then there was yoga. This is my therapy. It helps me center myself, take a break, and JUST BREATHE. It’s a must and I highly recommend it. It is so effective that once I burst into tears on my yoga mat. Some people say this is the ultimate yoga experience. That you opened a chakra and opened yourself. They call this an "emotional release". Some people find that certain poses on certain days just make them burst into tears or fill them with an intense frustration about something entirely outside their practice. For me it’s my dad’s battle to regain his mobility and the fight for his health. The sessions were and are moving and Natalie has the capacity to bring you the the next level in your practice.
I did some pilates because after giving birth you absolutely need to strengthen your core and reconnect your tissue. Kala helped me with that and I definitely gained my strength back and last but not least, I did barre classes. This class helps you get long and lean and as an ex-ballerina, I am all about it!!
I committed to working out 5 days a week and I like to work out first thing in the morning because it gives me energy all day. Paired with my nutrition plan, I saw results after 11 weeks, but keep in mind that throughout those eleven weeks I traveled to New York and Paris Fashion Week (gotta keep blogging) so I did my best to keep up, so let's say 9 weeks of real commitment. I am very proud to share my numbers and measurements with you.
Date : August 7th 2017 October 23, 2017
Weight 143lbs Weight: 130.5lbs
Body fat mass 36.4 lbs Body fat mass 31.5 lbs
BMI 31.2% BMI 23.1%
Upper chest 36.4 in Upper chest 34.5in
Chest 37.3in Chest 35.6in
Waist 33.5 in Waist 31.2 in
Belly button 35 in Belly button 32 in
Hips 39.5 in Hips 37.3 in
Thighs 24 in Thighs 22in
Calf 13.8 in Calf 13.2 in
Bicep 12.2 in Bicep 11
Total of 14.25 inches lost
Lost 5% body fat
Lost 12.5 lbs
My ultimate goal is 120 pounds and I am 100% convinced I can do it and will get there. But Phase 1 is complete I lost more then 10 pounds and I am looking forward to Phase 2. I had surgery a month ago so I cannot workout and believe me, I miss it terribly but I want to heal properly so I can train like a beast again.
Throughout my journey, Vic Park became my family. Each department was professional, friendly, efficient, and competent. Even the staff at the front desk made my adventure worthwhile with their welcoming smiles although I'm sure they were sick of seeing me every day of the week. Lol.
Thank you Victoria Park for taking me on and transforming me inside and out. #grateful
Photography by Patricia Brochu